Secret Emporium’s Passion for Uniqueness
In collaboration with Secret Productions and the Secret Garden Party, the Secret Emporium offers a platform for handpicked, original British designers to showcase their work. By providing a sophisticated alternative to the high street, the Secret Emporium pride themselves on combining a love of costume culture and fashion with a passion for supporting the young, talented designers of today.
There is no room here for mass production or fakery, when you commit to the Secret Emporium, you commit to their ethos of one-of-a-kind individualism. To find out more about the Secret Emporium, Gloobbi spoke to co-founder Lucy Peacock about the rise and aspirations of her company:
Gloobbi (G): How did the Secret Emporium get started?
Lucy Peacock (LP): Well, Tess (Secret Emporium co-founder) was an art teacher before we started out and I had just graduated from the Royal College of Art. I was working for the Secret Garden Party originally when they challenged me to spark some creativity into the retail and merchandise on offer at the festival and help with the creative side of the festival. From this point on, we began scouting original designers that we could showcase at the festival and the Secret Emporium grew from that point.
G: You still attend these festivals in the Summer season. Would you say they are still an important part of the Secret Emporium’s work?
LP: Absolutely. Rural festivals are our heritage and even though we’re now concentrating on expanding in London and beyond, they still hold a great importance for us.
G: Why do you think that is?
LP: I’ve always hated trade shows. Often they’re so bleak and sterile that creativity really falls flat. I think it’s far better to create a more organic atmosphere where artists and designers have the opportunity to showcase themselves and work hard but also have fun.
Festivals offer such a unique selling space for retail. You have four days or so to sell and showcase and such an intense time period really pushes the designers involved together into a little community.
Often this means that collaborations spark as a result. That’s the great thing about such rural, eccentric festivals like Bestival or Wilderness – they’re full of creativity. You’re surrounded by people who know what it is to throw their heart and soul into dressing up, into costume culture and the projects, products and future collaborations that come out of that atmosphere are really exciting.
G: How do you go about selecting the artists and designers that are showcased at these festivals?
LP: In the early days we used to scout out independent designers and in the very first year at the Secret Garden Party a lot of them were my friends. Since the company has grown, we’ve been able to become quite selective but I’d say it’s still a mix of us approaching designers and vice versa.
There are only about thirty spaces and every year, as our name and brand gets out there more and more, we’re becoming over-subscribed so it’s a hard fight for designers. On the other hand it’s great because we can pick and choose and make sure we tailor the style of the artists to the different festivals and curate according to the customer base.
It’s important to tie the art together with the environment you’re selling in. A clear example would be our Christmas market last year where most of the designers we choose were those whose products and work fitted Christmas gift ideas.
G: Your company promotes originality as of paramount importance triumphing over the mass commercialism and fakery manufactured by big conglomerate companies. Would you say that a display of authenticity is of great importance when selecting your designers?
LP: Authenticity is a funny old word. I’d say that we definitely pick designers with a strong sense of style and personality coming through their work. We look for it because that’s what the company is all about. We want to offer an alternative to the high street; we want people to know that a pair of earrings or a t-shirt bought from a Secret Emporium artist are one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
G: What is next for the Secret Emporium?
LP: While our festival seasons are really important to us, we’re looking to expand even more into London. Our pop-up shop at Shoreditch box park was a great success and offered worthwhile exposure to our chosen designers. We’d also like to create a global correspondence with places like New York and Paris. We want our designers to become serious contenders in the fashion industry and really believe they deserve to be showcased in the capitals of design, fashion and art.
To Learn More of the Secret Emporium’s activities, visit its website HERE.
by Miranda Blazeby